Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Saskatoon—Dundurn (Saskatchewan)
Lost his last election, in 2000, with 21.72% of the vote.
Statements in the House
Hyundai Plant In Bromont April 16th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asks an interesting question. It is a matter I will have to take up with the minister. We will take that question under advisement.
Justice March 19th, 1997
Mr. Speaker, the issue of section 745, the faint hope clause, should be dealt with without trying to capitalize politically on the misfortune of the families of victims. Section 745 needs constructive discussion.
In my opinion section 745 should be eliminated and discretion returned to the sentencing judges. This would eliminate injustices and would allow judges leeway in sentencing. A judge could rule that an Olson or a Bernardo would never be paroled and they would never darken the door of the parole board, not even after 25 years. Someone who has committed murder under extenuating circumstances could be ordered eligible for parole in a much shorter time.
Let us eliminate section 745, return discretion to our judges and return to making good laws, rather than politically capitalizing on the misfortunes of victims' families.
Canada Labour Code March 11th, 1997
Madam Speaker, I will rephrase the question. With respect to the back to work legislation which required the House of Commons to sit on a Saturday and a Sunday, perhaps the Reform member can indicate how his party showed concern for western Canadian farmers on that particular weekend when we were dealing with that legislation, getting the workers back to work so
that grain could move in western Canada. How did Reformers show any concern on that particular weekend?
Canada Labour Code March 11th, 1997
Madam Speaker, just to remind the hon. member, Saskatchewan is under the Canadian Wheat Board, for his information. Maybe they do not look across the border but we know what the Canadian Wheat Board is. That may be a surprise to him.
He made reference to a strike in 1994 which dealt with the transportation and movement of grain in western Canada, and in Canada generally, and the extremely high cost which resulted, which was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. At that time the cost to the Canadian economy was in the range of $200 million per day as a result of that strike. As a result, the government decided that it was important to sit on Saturday and Sunday to pass back to work legislation to ensure that people got back to work and that less money would be lost to the Canadian economy. That was done and people got back to work.
Perhaps the hon. member can tell us why on the Saturday only 6 Reformers were present and why only 12 or 13 showed up on the Sunday to vote when there was no-
Supply March 10th, 1997
As a further matter, with respect to crime in my riding, it is interesting that he is busy campaigning in my part of the riding and the election has not even been called.
Madam Speaker, I have had information passed on to me that during my speech the hon. member for Swift Current-Maple Creek-Assiniboia uttered the word "asshole". I am asking that this be withdrawn at this time.
Supply March 10th, 1997
Madam Speaker, unfortunately the hon. member did not hear the speech I made. I never referred to other members of the family as not being victims of the crime.
Supply March 10th, 1997
There are no victims who can be cross-examined on a murder trial, and that is what I am discussing now. It is unfortunate but that is the position. There are victims in cases but they had better realize what is being talked about in the speech. This is how the Reform Party deals with this matter. It treats it as a complete political matter. It is not concerned about victims of any sort in the process.
It is important to get rid of section 745 at some time in the future and replace it with what I have suggested. Prisoners want finality in sentencing as well. When they have been convicted, they want to know exactly where they stand. There is no reason for them to put on false pretences to prison guards in wanting to be treated better or have a favourable report in 15 years.
They should have finality planned for that period of time and deal with rehabilitation rather than trying to impress authorities.
The comment by the hon. member for Comox-Alberni that it is 1.1 years for every child he has killed in referring to Olson is absolutely ludicrous. His suggesting that Olson will only serve 1.1 years for every child he has killed is simply trying to inflame the public when what is being said is completely and absolutely inaccurate because he has not been granted parole.
Everybody knows he will not be granted parole, yet a comment like that is made. It is inflammatory to the ultimate degree. That is Reform policy. Its members not only deal with inconsistencies, what is inaccurate, but they show their extremist qualities throughout and continuously. Desperation is written all over the Reform Party.
On Bill C-45 the Reform Party, in its fresh start campaign platform, should realize that most of us did not need a fresh start part way through this Parliament because we had a good start when we started in 1993. We do not have to restart.
In their fresh start Reformers say that section 745 should be repealed and they do not deal with a situation like another Olson applying for parole after 25 years. Give the judges the discretion. Let them deal with situations like this. Unfortunately it is never dealt with.
Of course, they try to show how crime is increasing, it is really bad. It is not true. Crime is falling. The national crime rate has been falling for the fourth year in a row.
All we have to do is look at the Reform documentation. One can see what Reformers are saying, fearmongering with respect to the public. They are trying to show to the public that the justice system does not work. Everything is getting worse. It is absolutely not true.
The crime rate is dropping.
The crime rate has decreased for a fourth year in a row. Violent crime also fell last year. Does it not hurt their policy when the facts do not support them? How do they back out of it? They cannot. They cannot back out of it. They are stuck with fearmongering and alteration of the facts in matters such as this one. That is what we have seen in debates and written articles about crime control by Reform members.
I simply ask Reformers to take a look at my suggestion today. It is not a new one. It made it to the Police Association of Canada. Section 745 should be abolished, giving back discretion to judges to deviate from the mandatory sentences in exceptional cases upon giving reasons. I have indicated that to the association. It is very interested in looking at that suggestion to see whether or not to support it. I am waiting to hear what it has to say.
I am not about to say that we should not parole people forever or if a criminal is convicted put him away for 25 years with no discretion for judges. I have a lot more faith in the judicial system than I do in the wisdom of the party across from me, the third party. Its ability to deal with section 745 has been most lacking.
We must have constructive debate rather than the Reformers continuously trying to insinuate that we are not dealing with the rights of victims. We cannot have good debate with them. I am putting out a suggestion for them to consider. Perhaps there are problems in my suggestion but I would like to hear what those problems may be.
I do not want to be called names. I heard one from the member for Swift Current-Maple Creek-Assiniboia. I do not want to hear that. I prefer getting into constructive debate rather than being called names. It is irresponsible. They will pay the price in the next election. In the province of Saskatchewan there will be no Reformers re-elected, none. We will see to it.
This is not the time for name calling in such a discussion. This is a time to deal with alternatives. Unfortunately that is not on the agenda of the Reform Party. Alternatives are not on its agenda because it deals with alternatives on a different fact basis, facts that are not there.
We cannot deal with alternatives like those. I simply ask that all members to consider the alternatives I have put before the House today.